Hutterian Church Excommunicates The Bruderhof, 1990

The Hutterian Brethren Church of the Darius & Lehrerleut Conference to the Society of Brothers who call themselves Hutterian Brethren: 12/11/90: Greetings: The reuniting of the Hutterian Brethren Jan 7, 1974, at Sturgeon Creek Colony, Manitoba, with the Society of Brethren, or Arnold Leut, Woodcrest, New York, was the topic of the meeting and conversation. We were all in unison that you were accepted on a probationary basis, so that you would get acquainted and accept the teaching and tenets, rules, Ordnungen and Principles of The Hutterische Church as they were practiced by us at that time and our forefathers, so that you may adopt and adhere to them, which up to that time you shunned and trod with your feet, and in fact disgraced and abused the messengers that were sent to you from time to time, all out of love for your salvation.
First: Regarding Millennium: You still cling to the false doctrine of The Millennium, the so-called 1000 years of The Kingdom, which is against The Apostolic Creed (articles 6 & 7) to which we all said 'Yes and Amen' in our baptismal vows, and again those of us in the ministry of the 'Word.' Our forefathers made no mention of this 1000 years of The Kingdom of God here on earth, in their abundant writings and epistles in which they recognize the 1st and 2nd Advent, or The Coming of our Lord; of the third they know not. We agree wholeheartedly with them. This Blumhardt teaching we cannot accept.
Secondly: The Rearing of Children: We cannot agree with you on the issue of sending young people to school outside of our communities at the age when they need the most protection from the wiles of the devil which are rampant in this world as never before. The reasons stated in Johann Christoph Arnold's letter of Nov 2, '86 (especially reason No. 2) are totally not acceptable to us, even though he erroneously tried to prove that our Hutterian forefathers sent their young people out in the world for a trial period of up to two years. We have many other sermons that prove that the passage he quotes from Heb. 12:5-9 was only intended as an analogy or comparison. The rearing of children (your letter of Nov. 3, 1986 defending your position) is not in harmony with the teachings of Ehrenpreis (pps. 70-74) or in Peter Rideman's book, (p. 130). You on the contrary need teachers, nurses, doctors, for your business, for your means of income, people with technical knowledge. Why didn't Jesus think of that when he chose his disciples? He must have been very naive not to know how to build his church to make such a selection.
We fear that sending our children, and especially our young people who have reached the age of puberty, into outside schools is like throwing lambs out to the wolves. At this age, young people are most vulnerable to evil influences. This is not a good way to test for 'dead wood.' Delphini.
Third: March to protest Death Penalty: Referring to 'The Plough' # 25 (Aug, 1990) 'Hutterites March Against Death Penalty.' What a disgrace. Surely Christians are against any kind of killing, whether by the Death Penalty or any other form, but have we ever heard of Hutterites marching with other denominations, or taking part in such activities? No! Never in Hutterite history or in biblical history. What would our forefathers say to such practices? Or Paul 2 Cor 6:13-16. How did you dare to say that you were representing the Hutterites in Canada????
Fourth: Torches, Idols: Your use of fire and candles in your gatherings and services is also foreign to us. We believe that this is on the road that leads to idolatry.
Five: Presentation of babies to the church: Your presentation of babies to the church may look like an innocent ritual to you, but seems to us as being only half a step away from infant baptism.
Six: Supporting Courts: The condoning or abetting of one Colony or Colony Member suing another in a secular court of law, in which you have been a willing and aggressive partner in complete contrast to the advice of Paul: Dare any of you having a matter against another go to law before the unjust, and not before the saints, etc. etc. 1 Cor 6. It is also against the stand Hutterites have taken for 4 1/2 centuries. (Matth 5:25-26, 38-48.)
Seven: Hutterite Sermons, Musical and Acting: Wedding at Elm River in Manitoba. Where in the 500- year history of the Hutterites have we ever heard of play acting, putting on a live show or imitating any part of the scripture, or the words of the bible or any parable (The Ten Virgins)? Surely this was a dishonor to God and church. Imagine imitating the devil and our Savior Jesus Christ! What blasphemy and impious act before God! And when asked at a meeting Oct 8, 1987, this was denied, and the truth was refused deliberately. Where are the teachings of Peter Rideman, whom you said and claimed you were following more fervently than any of the three Leut? And this was also affirmed by some of the Schmiedenleut Ministers, when all along they and you knew that this was not being done. One can only imagine how much more of this is going on in the eastern colonies. How did you dare to willfully violate the ordinances and humble practices of the scripture and the church by introducing musical instruments on any occasion? Has this not infiltrated in some of our dear Schmiedenleut Colonies and caused a drifting in your direction? This is why we are so concerned and therefore, try by all means, to not let this happen, to our Lehrerleut and Dariusleut Colonies. So help us God.
And also the main downfall of your people is that you do not preach the Hutterian Sermons, or Lehren, which to us are so sacred, and indeed biblical, and were written by men of suffering and inspiration of the Holy Ghost, and were sealed with blood and tears. These sermons are the solid foundation that keeps our church alive and in order, and Jesus is the head of this true church. The booklets that you publish and send to all the colonies are as far apart from these sermons as heaven and earth, especially the last one was utter nonsense. Note 2 Cor 5: 6-7.
Eight: Regarding Baptism: It has been brought to our attention that you still baptize by immersion. If so, we advise you to read p. 417 or the whole letter that Elder Peter Walpot wrote the Polish delegates in the year 1570, written in 'The Chronicle of the Hutterites.' Because of this, the Hutterian Brethren did not accept them even as novices.
Nine: The Letter from New Zealand [quoted KIT II # 9 Oct '90 - ed.]: Your blaspheming attitude about the Word of God (see letter of April 27, 1987) by Neville Cooper to Jacob Kleinsasser)
1. The Bible is the greatest weapon of the devil.
2. The Bible is not the Word of God.
3. The living Word is the Word of God which God
wants to speak to us at this moment, not what he
said to Moses, or Elijah, or even to Jesus.
Ten: Lovemeal: Our opposition to your lovemeals which you practice today, which our former Elder Rev. Joseph Waldner refers to in his letter to you April 6, 1975, wherein he tells you they do not belong to us.
Although it is true that in 1974 the Schmeidenleut, Lehrerleut and two of the Dariusleut ministers agreed to the uniting with the Arnoldleut after they heard the pleas of the then present Arnoldleut, and we earnestly thought you would adopt the Hutterian Brethren Customs and traditions and ordinances as much as possible (and all Elders acted in good faith), however we are very well aware that you did not keep your promises, and instead of coming closer to us, you are so to speak, deliberately drifting in the opposite direction. Especially like in the case of musical instruments and radios, you seem to have absolutely no concern whatsoever whether we agree with you or not. It doesn't seem to bother you the least bit, let the other Hutterians think what they may, therefore, even if it is hard for us to do:
We are forced to revoke the 1974 unification.
We fear that such forbidden sins may slowly
infiltrate into our colonies. Although it is said,
that you say you don't live on customs and
traditions but on love, may we point out to you
that a church without customs and traditions is not
a true church. God is a God of ordinance, and he
wants ordinance to be adhered to by his followers,
and that includes customs and traditions.
In German: Gott ist ein Gott der Ordnung, und er
will haben dasz unter seinen Volk Ordnung sein soll.
Now what causes division between us? Let us read Jes. 59 v 2. 'But your iniquities (Untugend) have separated between you and your God, and your sins have hid his face from you that he will not hear. And 1 John 5 v 7 says "All unrighteousness (Untugend) is sin." Now we do not claim to be infallible, because we are prone to sin like all humans, but when the Elders of a church deliberately and without any considerations openly exercise play-acting, music and all such things, as mentioned in this letter, we feel we have to voice our objections, lest we should be found guilty in the eyes of the almighty God.
Therefore we, the Darius and Lehrerleut
Congregations, declare and reveal to you the Arnold
Congregation, that hereafter you are not recognized as
Brothers in Faith, and ask you to refrain, yes, stop using
and tarnishing the Hutterite name and image with your
anti-Hutterian deeds. We ask that in the future you not
send any of your literature and 'The Plough' for fear of
being led astray, because we have sadly experienced that
our counselling was in vain all these years. Very Sincerely,
signed for the Dariusleut, John K. Wurz, M. S. Stahl.
For the Lehrerleut, John S. Wipf, John Kleinsasser.
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